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When Nature Calls, We Listen

This post is part of our Escapes Editor’s Picks series, where LivingSocial travel expert Nick Stafford talks about great destinations to travel and tour.

There’s nothing like National Great Outdoors Month to inspire a return to nature for your next getaway. Whether luxe lodging is a prerequisite or going off the grid entirely sounds better to you, it’s time to lace up your boots and set off to one of our favorite places from our great outdoors collection.

Those seeking rustic and romantic seclusion should look no further than a houseboat on the Hood Canal. Located on the Puget Sound’s Olympic National Forest, cast away your cares with champagne in hand and escape the chill of Pacific Northwest nights with a dip in your private hot tub. Bubbles + bubbles = <3.

If you’d rather be oceanbound, consider this gorgeous hideaway in California’s Monterey Bay. The inn boasts lush green gardens as far as the eye can see as well as an on-site monarch butterfly habitat.

The more rugged adventurers can make a splash on a family-friendly West Virginia river rafting trip that epitomizes the state’s “wild and wonderful” motto. Explore each bend and meander of the New River and then doze off beneath billions of stars at a remote campground.

For those in need of a little detox, this New York fitness retreat pairs serenity with sweat amidst 23 acres of lush Catskills countryside. Attend daily training classes, enjoy healthy guided meals and reward yourself with a restful night’s sleep in this cozy 19th century mansion.

Adventurers will appreciate a six-day tour of Utah’s Mighty Five national parks. This expedition across America’s National Parks Capital takes nature buffs on guided tours of sprawling canyons, looming mountains, and brilliant red deserts like you’ve never imagined.

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Cheers to That

Wine-glass_RoseMove over, France. America has officially topped you as the No. 1 consumer of wine worldwide. From full-on aficionados to the occasional tippler, we drink more than 4 billion bottles of wine yearly as a nation. That’s enough to fill 1,200 Olympic swimming pools!

Our insatiable enthusiasm for this adult beverage translates to some creative consumption, and LivingSocial has some of the best ways to sip wine with your beau or besties in tow.

Toast to your artistic side at a Paint Nite in your city or sample Washington, DC’s best at the Capital Wine & Cider Fest. Folks in the Big Apple can enjoy an after-hours tour and wine reception of Eldridge Street Synagogue, one of New York City’s most stunning architectural landmarks. Or reward your thirsty body with a glass at the finish line of the Chardonnay Run in Chicago.

Fancy a wine weekend? Escape to Leavenworth, which is nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, for a wine tasting amidst Bavarian charm, or explore California’s wine country at a romantic inn in Lodi, known as the Zinfandel Capital of the World.

Or simply savor these deals on premium wine and moscato packages that will have you seeing red – red wine, that is!

Dad’s Day Done Right


Step away from the neckties. You’ve only given a new one to your darling dad every Father’s Day since you were nine years old. On average, we spend $114 on Dad every year for Father’s Day — imagine how many ties that is! Now imagine spending that money on an experience that your dad will remember for years. We like the sound of that.

Do Father’s Day 2015 a little differently. Instead of a pack of golf balls, get dad out on the green with this Passport to Golf coupon book, usable at more than 150 courses. Ditch the backyard barbecue for a thrilling ride on a hot air balloon. Up the ante for your tech-savvy dad with something sleek from Sharper Image or even a drone. The possibilities are endless in our special Father’s Day collection featuring deals on hundreds of one-of-a-kind gifts.

Gadgets and special outings are some of the most popular Father’s Day gifts in America, and it’s no wonder because these gifts last. This Father’s Day, go for a gift that’s lasting, memorable… and doesn’t hang around his neck.

Let’s Tag About It

From nationally renowned galleries to thought-provoking street murals, the DC art scene offers an array of creative expression, and Rajan Sedalia stands at the forefront of the movement. His unique graffiti art can be found all over the city, and he has been nationally recognized for his work. With a long-running LivingSocial deal, Sedalia offers workshops to anyone with a curious mind and a drive to create. We wanted to know more about his experience as an artist, teacher, and entrepreneur.

When did you first begin your art career, and what inspired you to become a graffiti artist?

It began as soon as I could hold a crayon. I was never inspired to write graffiti; it was a byproduct of being out [and] goofing off as a kid. Within those moments of blissful goofing, I found it to be freeing and honest. It felt right. So I never stopped. As an adult, I’m inspired by joy, love, social injustice, and hypocrisy.

What kinds of messages do you wish to convey with your art?

I’m hopeful that someone will be moved, just like I was, through art. To take a moment to be honest with themselves and be who they were meant to be.

How do you aim to impact your community with graffiti art?

I’m not sure. It would be up to the community. I just hope we continue to have the freedom to express ourselves in a colorful, creative forum.

In your opinion, how has graffiti art evolved over time?

It’s become more mainstream. It’ll be interesting to see how cities adapt to the mix of wealth, cameras, conformity, and street art.

Why did you decide to turn your talent into a business, and how would you describe your business’ success?

The decision was a reality check — I had to do something, as being poor can be uncomfortable and dangerous. And I wasn’t going to open a craft, gluten-free range latté café, so graffiti art was the next best option. I think it’s successful because it’s fun.

Tell us about some unique opportunities you’ve had since you started your business.

I’ve met wonderful people who teach me how to see the world through a different perspective. Watching a mother write graffiti to express the love for her daughter. Watching a family of four write graffiti together. A family that tags together stays together.

What can students expect to learn in your workshops?

Hopefully, they’ll learn more about themselves.

Describe your experience with LivingSocial. How has LivingSocial generated more exposure for you as an artist?

It’s a great platform to share ideas and creativity. I appreciate LivingSocial’s ability to reach people.

Learn more about Sedalia’s work at Artjar.com, and experience his creative process in real time on Twitter.


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When in Rome…

This post is part of our Escapes Editor’s Picks series, where LivingSocial travel expert Nick Stafford talks about great destinations to travel and tour.

Try as we might, one lifetime may not be enough to savor all that the world has to offer. From trekking in eco-paradise Patagonia, basking in the history of Istanbul’s blue mosque, crossing paths with good storytellers in Ireland, or rugged adventurers in the American West… with so much to experience, travelers have every right to be picky.

No worries – LivingSocial’s summer wanderlust collection offers a menu of places to go and experience in full splendor. Pick your pleasure; we’ll match it with a destination faster than you can fetch your suitcase. Looking to relax? Choose from serene palm-lined beaches in Costa Rica, or your own cozy cabin on Eagle Lake, ME. Want history? Walk the halls of the Beijing’s Imperial Palace or stand in the footsteps of ancient gladiators in Rome.

Who are your travel pals? For a group of girlfriends, the royal magic of London – complete with unparalleled shopping and museums – may be the ticket. Family time could mean a bike adventure in the Berkshires. A once in a lifetime experience with your main squeeze? Look no further than a weeklong culinary tour in the south of France. Oui oui!

With trips ranging from 2 days to 2 weeks, many with flights options, and the LivingSocial value you’ve come to expect, the world is your oyster with this Escapes collection.

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